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SMC Basketball: Tip-Off Classic starts season

Joe Meixell | Friday, November 21, 2003

For the past six weeks the Belles have being doing the little things in practice with hopes of doing big things this season.This weekend they look to put their practice into play as the Belles open their season in the Tip-Off Classic Tourn-ament. Saint Mary’s will play the first game tonight against Hanover College and the second against Franklin College Saturday.The team emerges this year with nine returning players that add experience and depth to its lineup. With a core of four juniors and one senior, the team has already found the chemistry that it lacked last season.”We’re really coming together as a strong group,” Saint Mary’s coach Suzanne Bellina said. “We try to cover all the details in practice and I think we’ve already made big improvements.”The Belles will be helped by the return of junior Emily Creachbaum who was a leading scorer last year in the conference and an all-MIAA performer. Junior Katie Boyce and senior Katie Miller will join Creachbaum as the tri-captains for this year’s team.After a disappointing season last year, the Belles are ready to move up in the conference and establish themselves. They face another tough schedule in the MIAA but the team has a determined outlook this season.”Last season left a bitter taste in our mouth and we know what needs to be done to turn things around for us,” Bellina said. The Belles will have their share of opportunities to prove themselves this year including a game against national powerhouse Washington Univer-sity. The challenge is there, and the Belles look ready to take it with experience and confidence on their side this season.”We have more speed and quickness to the ball this year along with a great group returning,” Bellina said. “We’re ready to go from worst to first.”St. Mary’s will play in the Tip-Off Classic today and Saturday at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.